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First will & testament by Kenneth Patchen
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First will & testament

by Kenneth Patchen

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How strange that I shouldn't own a copy of a book of such power, beauty, and fructifying influence. Well, that's the price of a free-flowing life. Anyway, half a century after first ecountering this book -- in a copy inscribed by Patchen to John Crowe Ransom -- I recall with love its relentless vividness of voice, its political righteousness unmarred by pat ideology, and the writer's obvious purity of heart. Even the occasional adolescent lapses into silly surrealism -- if that isn't redundant -- don't mar the overall effect of this volume. Images and epigrams from such poems as "The Hangman's great hands" will stay with me always. How odd to be writing this at a higher age than Patchen -- like Heine, a perpetual invalid -- ever achieved in his sadly brief stay on this planet. ( )
  HarryMacDonald | Oct 24, 2012 |
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